Trudeau pledges $1.75B to boost high-speed internet in remote communities
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the government is launching a $1.75-billion fund to expand high-speed internet to Canadians in rural and remote communities.
Trudeau says the Universal Broadband Fund will see 98 per cent of Canadians connected to high-speed internet by 2026, crucial in an era when virtual communication is an essential part of daily life.
The program, announced originally in the 2019 budget as a $1-billion fund, includes $750 million of additional cash to advance projects with partners such as the federal infrastructure financing agency.
Trudeau also announced a $600-million deal with Ottawa-based satellite company Telesat to link up especially remote communities and regions in the Far North with high-speed broadband via satellite.
The Liberals created the Canada Infrastructure Bank in 2017 to entice funding from private-sector partners to fund what the government has called ``transformational'' infrastructure projects that would create 60,000 jobs.
However, the bank has been criticized for its relatively small number of investments in fewer than a dozen projects so far and both the Conservatives and NDP promised in the 2019 election to abolish the bank if they were voted into power.